RANIGAT

 

    
 

Ranigat is one of the largest Buddhist sites in Gandhara, located in District Bunir, NWFP. A huge granite rock called Ranigat situated on the top of one of the peaks placed in the mountainous area which marked the eastern end of the Peshawar basin. This rock has been called “Ranigat” which means “the Queen’s Rock” in the local language, and the ancient site named after this rock. This largest site covering area of 1100 meters long from the north to the east and 650 meters long from the east to the west

 
Judging from the long stone wall of cut granite, piled up firmly and neatly, Ranigat was considered as a fortress of Aolnos which had been surrendered to Alexander the Great. In 1883 Cole visited Ranigat and conducted the first excavation. A. Stein and M.A Foucher who visited the site later pointed out the significance of the remains. In the 1920s the local branch of the Archaeological Survey of India made a survey and report Ranigat.
 
    

 

Kyoto University, Japan carried out excavation project in 1984, 1986, 1989 and temporary conservational procedures of the remains were done in 1990-92.

 

The main stupa is located at center of the east area. This stupa was within a stupa court surrounded by 50 votive stupas, and stone- paved corridors were around them. Evidences proved that the main stupa was once enlarged quite a large scale. During the excavation in1968, a small stupa was discovered within main stupa and named Core stupa. Most of the domes and drums of the stupas were destroyed both outside and inside by looters.

 

A good number of Gandhara Art pieces consist of Buddhist sculptures, coins, Kharoshti inscriptions and terracotta objects were unearthed.